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Moving to Thailand


Capital: Bangkok
Population: 66,720,153 (2013)
Area: 198,115 sq. mi
Top 5 Largest Cities: 1. Bangkok 2. Nonthaburi 3. Pak Kret 4. Hat Yai 5. Nakhon Ratchasima
Lanuage: Thai
Climate: Tropical

Planning on moving to Thailand? Nationwide Van Lines can help make your move an easier process. Our selected staff of trained professionals will keep your move going in a timely and stress-free manner. We want you to be prepared for your upcoming trip, thus your personalized relocation agent will inform you of every step. Choose a company that cares as much as you do. Choose Nationwide Van Lines.

Required Documents for Import

To assist clearing your household goods (HHGS), there are important documents needed by Customs. Please venture below to learn more about some of the documents you may need.

Customs Value Declaration – A document used to calculate duties and taxes that states the value of the entire HHGS shipment.

Packing List – Includes all information regarding the HHGS being shipped.

Certificate of Origin – Gives verification of which country your household goods are manufactured in.

Import Requirements and Documentation

Identification of you and your household goods are very important in the Customs process. Please take a look below at some of the documentation you may need to help clear Customs.

  • Your original Passport
  • Your Bill of Lading
  • Work Permit that’s valid for no less than a year.
  • Your non-immigrant Visa or your Resident Visa
  • Packing list
  • Board of Investment (BOI) letter if the company you work for is approved by the BOI
  • Your Original Bill of Lading

The Examination of Household Goods and Entry Documents

Once your HHGS goods have arrived in Thailand along with your documents, both are subjected to examination by Customs. A CBP officer will examine your household goods to determine the value, correct markings, proper invoicing, existence of prohibited items, damages, deterioration and illegal narcotics. It’s important to assure all items are properly described and accounted for to avoid any delays or seizure of items. Once your items are approved for release, they are safeguarded by the proper officers.

Duty and Taxes

Customs duties is a very important part of the clearance process. You can expect to pay a range from 0 to 45% for your duties, 7% for your Valued-added Tax (VAT) and 25 to 80% Excise Tax for luxery goods. Your presence is necessary for Customs to clear your items. You are allowed only 1 duty-free import by sea. You and your HHGS should derive from the same country. You must have a one-year non-immigrant B Visa will be required to obtain a duty-free and tax-free import. You must have owned your items for no less than 6 months for duty-free import. Your shipment must arrive no later than 6 months of the date your Work Permit is issued if you are a working foreign national or returning Thailand nationals. You must live abroad for no less than a year with no visits to Thailand during the time abroad if you are a returning citizen. If your stay is less than a year, you will be taxed 20% for import duties and an additional 7% for your Value-added Tax (VAT). If you are a Diplomat, you will have no charge of duties or taxes if your documentation arrives prior to your shipment. Those that are retirement Visa holders must pay taxes.

Duty-free Items

  • 200 cigarettes, 250 grams of cigars or 250 grams of tobacco
  • 1 liter of alcohol
  • Goods up to the value of $308.40 USD

Labeling and Marking Requirements

The correct labeling and markings are very important for Customs. Each mark and label should be in the English language. Please take a look below to discover the marking and labeling requirements.

  • The name and address of the importer
  • The country of Origin
  • Clearly numbered in reflection of the inventory list
  • The quantity

Prohibited Items

Certain items are strictly prohibited due to the safety of the land and its people. Please take a look below to learn more about some of the prohibited items.

  • Office equipment
  • Alcohol
  • Drugs
  • Stereo
  • Defense items
  • Musical instruments
  • Sporting equipment
  • Baby items
  • Gold
  • Video equipment
  • Faux Royal or official seals
  • Explosives
  • Shortwave radios
  • Electronic cigarettes
  • Obscene articles, publications, videos and/or software’s
  • Counterfeit items
  • Replica guns
  • Gambling machinery
  • Toy guns
  • Medical equipment
  • Religious material
  • Luxury items
  • Guns
  • Silver
  • Office items
  • Any items containing the Thailand national flag
  • Baby toys

Restricted Items

There are a number of items with restrictions when it comes to importing household goods into Thailand. Below are many of the restricted items and their restrictions.

  • Foodstuff, wine and spirits will be charged 180% if there are an excessive amount.
  • Buddha heads and images of Buddha requires a certificate of authorization from the Department of Fine Arts in Thailand.
  • One type of electronic will be duty-free and tax free.
  • Any medicines, chemicals, radio equipment, plant material and living materials will require a permit from the government agency that is relevant.
  • Firearms, ammunition and fireworks will require permission from the Ministry of Interior.
  • Antiques and works of art requires permission from the Fine Arts Department.
  • Wild flora, fauna and fish will require permission from the National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, the Department of Agriculture or the Department of Fishery.

Receiving your Household Goods

The liability for duties are paid once Customs has cleared your shipment for release. There are no options of prepaid duties or taxes prior to exportation from a foreign country. Once your shipment is filed with CBP, the party and only the party listed as the receiver can pick up the shipment. If HHGS are warehoused, the party of liability can be changed to another party, most whom purchased the goods. The Customs broker cannot pay duties, but can accept a check written out to the Customs and Border Protection to forward. Once items are received, all articles are deemed owned by the receiver and no longer in ownership of the CBP.

For more information regarding moving to Thailand, please visit the websites below.

The Customs Department - Thailand

The Customs Department
1 Sunthornkosa Road, Klong Toey
Bangkok, 10110. 

Tel: 02 667 6000,
  02 667 7000
Fax: 02 667 7767

All information featured above is for viewing purposes only. To obtain up-to-date information about overseas shipment, please notify your nearest Consulate.